QPR achieved something of a "double" yesterday when the won promotion to the Premier League as champions of the Championship but also avoided a points reduction despite being found guilty of breaking transfer rules by the FA.
Having found the club in the wrong in two of the seven charges brought against them, fans of the club then breathed a sigh of relief as the FA decided that an £875,000 fine was punishment enough and that a points reduction was not needed in this case.
On Tuesday, the FA had indicated that Rangers would suffer some kind of points reduction after their chief, Mark Palios, told the BBC that "a points reduction was almost certain," after studying the charges being brought against the club.
That statement left QPR in a state of despair as they prepared to welcome Leeds United to Loftus Road on Saturday. Training had been badly hit as the club prepared for the worst, a potential loss of 15 points and dropping from automatic promotion to 6th place and a play-off to gain promotion to the Premier League.
With morale at an all time low and expecting a points loss the club received the best news possible when, just one hour before kick-off, they were told that they would be promoted as champions and would not suffer a points loss of any kind.
The news came as a massive relief to the stricken players and some tears of joy were shed in the dressing room as they realised that their season of hard work would be rewarded with promotion.
Upon hearing the news, Rangers manager Neil Warnock told Football Focus that "There have been a few tears in the dressing room. It's been a hell of a time and how they [the players] have been able to focus I'll never know."
"I [just] can't praise them high enough, it hasn't sunk in completely and it is just a relief to know we are champions."The charges arose after the FA decided to investigate the £3.5 million transfer of Argentinian Alejandro Faulin from Instituto De Cordoba in the Argentine 2nd Division to QPR in 2009.
The FA were concerned about the alleged existence of an arrangement between Rangers and a third party [an agent] and the alleged failure of the club to inform the FA of the said arrangement. The club were also charged with submitting false information in relation to the transfer and with an alleged payment to an outside third party.
The governing association had become aware of the situation regarding Faulin in September after the club had notified them that they wanted to buy out the third party so they could award the player with a contract extension.
Following the Carlos Tevez transfer to West Ham, the FA banned all third party arrangements and with such damning evidence mounting against the club it was feared by many that a heavy points reduction was the only way out for Rangers.
However, the FA then decided to only fine the club in respect to bringing the game into disrepute (£800,000) and for an illegal payment to an agent (75,000).
This immediately begs the question, that if the FA know that QPR made an illegal payment to a third party then why did they find a lack of evidence in the other five charges, especially as they concern false documentation regarding agents.
In the end though it does not matter as neither Cardiff City nor Swansea City will contest the FA ruling.
For their part, QPR were given the Championship trophy at Loftus Road for their final game of the season against Leeds United, another side who have come under some pressure for the FA of late in regards to the ownership of the club.
It was a day of celebration, and despite losing 2-1, nothing could dampen the spirits of the relieved fans and players who deservedly won promotion after playing a thoroughly entertaining brand of football all season.
However, as any promoted team will tell you, the hard work has only just begun.
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